One of the soldiers nodded at Misses Claus' request, and took the touchpad. She began typing into it a set of coordinates. Pushing one final button, a loading screen appeared with a small blue bar. Once it filled, a check mark appeared in the window to show that the data had been sent, and then she handed the pad back to the pilot. On each pilot's navigational computer, the coordinates appeared in a series of Nav points. Their task was simply to follow the points from Nav Alpha to Nav Beta, Nav Gamma, Delta, so forth.
Cella found the fact about liquid clouds bizarre, but rather funny. "You can drink it?" she laughed. "Just how is water even held in the sky like that at all? Hm, I never wondered about that before.." she said somewhat distantly, all humor immediately dissipated from her tone. She looked out the window and began to wonder. "Well I suppose the rain has to come from somewhere," she mused.
And then Eliza offered her the candy. "Huh? Oh thank you, you shouldn't have!" she said, taking it and nibbling already. "Mmmm, good! Thanks, I owe you one."
A while had passed. The planes had passed Nav Alpha, then were headed toward the Beta navigational point. This was the part where they would near the swamp, but once they reached Nav Beta the planes would turn west to Nav Gamma and go around the swamps.
Then, between Nav Alpha and Beta, the ship suddenly shook. "Wait, what's that noise?" Cella asked.
"Nothing," the pilot replied, waving her off. "Just a hot spot. We didn't hit anything."
"Hm?" Cella mused quizzically. "Sure felt like we did." Then she looked out the window to see where the inaudible wind vacuum sound was coming from thinking it was something from the engine, but instead she found the actual source. Which was even worse. Gnawing on the right wing of the jet was a fetid, purple imp. A blackish-indigo mane surrounded its head, its claws began tearing at the metal coating of the wing, and it snarled as it bit and spat out the metal from there. "Eek! What the heck is that thing!?"
A signal came in from another pilot, saying their vessel was under attack. Then came another signal from another plane, their pilot saying the same thing.
But before the pilot could give any sort of reply, another imp appeared in the pilot's view in front of the cockpit. The imp there scratched its claws on the glass of the pilot's windshield, producing a horrid screeching sound."What the hell is that thing??" The pilot shouted. "Why the hell didn't these little buggers showing up on radar?" He turned on the front windshield wipers in an attempt to brush the imp away, but all that seemed to do was agitate it. The imp took one of the wipers, snapped it in its caw, and threw it aside.
Then the jet shook some more. This time like a pounding force was coming from all over.
"We're being attacked by imps," Claus sighed, annoyed but not afraid. "Okay. Everybody remain calm," she said over the communicator, calmly. "All units stay together. We may need to provide cover fire for each other to blast away these imps. As you know, your ships are equipped with gun turrets we can use to blast these monsters away. Or we can even open some of these windows if we need to, and fire our own projectiles at these foul things."
With the controls, her pilot did just that. Cella's window opened, but not all the way. Just enough for her and anybody else to aim their weapons outside and get a clear shot at the things. Cella could have taken up the turret controls, but passed on that and settled for her own bow. She nocked an arrow, aimed and fired. But the arrow could not land, having been swept away by the wind velocity. "Great! Arrows won't work here?" Cella complained. "Now what?"
Misses Claus stifled the urge to roll her eyes, which would not have been seen anyway due to her hood. "Try the guns," she said flatly. "One of you take up a turret and blast those things. Fire from the windows if you have to." The ship itself had separate guns stored away for people to use, just in case of such an event. "And try not to hit the ship. The idea is to make it out of here in one piece."
Claus then unrolled the window nearest her, and pointed her left index finger outside. Aiming at one of the many imps that swarmed her ship, she discharged a bolt of lightning at the thing. The imp was fried the instant it was struck, and its charred body erupted in black soot. Ashy remains of the imp fell away unseen, carried off by the high wind velocity.
That was one down, a few dozen more to go. There were enough windows and turrets on each plane for each person to use to fire at the imps. And all the turrets and extra guns were at full ammunition capacity.